Blue Ribbons, Pony Rides, Cotton Candy, and an Ounce of Prevention

Many of your clients are getting ready to head out and enjoy the state and local fairs that take place every fall.  And you can help them make sure that they don’t bring home more than they intended by making them aware of common zoonotic disease risks at fairs and petting zoos, and the standard precautions they should take to protect themselves and their families.  This is just one of the many ways that your professional expertise enhances One Health.

If your practice is interested in developing or expanding educational materials for clients who might be attending animal exhibits (fairs, petting zoos, etc.), or if you’ve been asked to help with the planning or oversight of the exhibition, we can point you to some excellent resources.

The AVMA endorses the recommendations from the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians’ (NASPHV) Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings to minimize zoonotic disease transmission.

The Compendium, which was updated in 2011, provides general principles and guidelines for veterinarians, public health officials, and other professionals to reduce risks for disease transmission from animals to humans in public settings (e.g., petting zoos, animal swap meets, pet stores, nature parks, educational farms, county or state fairs, daycares or schools).

The likelihood of illness is reduced by:

1. Ensuring that all visitors thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water before eating or drinking.

2. Educating your clients so that they have knowledge and awareness of the risks of illness that exist.

The NASPHV also provides educational posters in English and Spanish for public use.

Other Animal Exhibit Posters and additional information about zoonotic (animal-related diseases) can be found at

Comments are closed.